TLC last week announced that unfortunately they were no longer going to be managing the rebranded TLC Taxi App, personally I feel that this is a great shame as I feel that they were moving in the right direction. The new tlctaxis.co.uk website was well designed and very simple which made it very easy to understand for both passengers and drivers.
I understand from speaking to some of those involved that the App took an enormous amount of time to manage and was taking up far too much of their working time and encroaching into their family life and time causing a negative impact for both them and their families. Apparently every driver or passenger that registered to use the App needs to be manually activated and I was told that a lot of the registrations had some information missing which meant communicating with the user on at least one occasion which obviously takes up a lot of time. It is all very well trying to run something like this for free but once it starts having a negative impact on your life then something has to give and unfortunately this has resulted in TLC coming to this drastic decision.
All of those that were involved in TLC should be applauded for taking on what was the LDNTaxiApp and trying to take it forward as before they stepped in the App was just sitting there doing nothing with very few jobs coming through, since their intervention the number of jobs has increased as has the number of drivers.
Now obviously a driver run App is never going to be able to splash the amount of cash about that the likes of Hailo have at their disposal but does the App need that sort of investment for advertising or can it be done a lot cheaper? Some time ago I had an advertising executive in the taxi and I was explaining the difference between Hailo and the TLC App and that TLC do not have any money to spend with regards to advertising or giving away money for free or subsidised rides, we had quite a lengthy discussion on this subject and we came to the conclusion that, we, the drivers are our own best ambassadors and that if the drivers using the App could explain things to the passenger with regards to the App then we should, between us, be able to make a success of the App.
It really is a shame that unless someone steps in to take this App forward that it looks as though it could well die a death here in London which means that we will be left without a driver led App that we can use to benefit our own trade but instead be left to the money men to cream of the back of working taxi drivers again. I do hope that someone is able to breath new life into this App again and take it forward to benefit us all, maybe as a cooperative of some sort, onlyt time will tell.